The National Vocation Service Centre was established as a result of the All India
Church Seminar in 1969 held at Bangalore with a view to renew the church in India
in the spirit of Vatican II. Fr. Engelbert Zeitler, SVD took the bold initiative
to start NVSC as a centre for Inspiration, Coordination and Assistance in the ministry
of Vocation Promotion. In January 1966 as President of the CRI, Fr. Zeitler held
a meeting at Bangalore and drew up a policy for a Joint Commission of CBCI and CRI.
A need was felt to have a national secretariat to coordinate the vocation ministry
of each diocese and congregation. A national survey on vocations highlighting the
problem of personnel and resources of the church in India was conducted and an orientation
paper on this survey was presented at the All India Seminar mentioned above. A proposal
to establish the National Vocation Service Centre was made and the centre was inaugurated
in Pune on 1st August 1969. It was given the twofold mandate:
1. To act as the Secretariat for the CBCI-CRI joint Commission for vocation promotion
2. To be the National Service Centre for the ministry of Vocations in the Country.
Its tasks included inspiring, coordinating and assisting the activities of the Church
all over India with regard to the ministry of Vocation Promotion. At this time 13
Regional Vocation Service Centres were established all over India. The work undertaken
by NVSC was to compile a list of Vocation Promoters in the country, sending out
questionnaire regarding the progress of Vocation Promotion, compiling data and obtaining
In the first phase of its history NVSC conducted a series of training courses for
Vocation Promoters both at the centre in Pune and in other regions of the country.
It also undertook the task of making scientific surveys to assess the ground reality
of vocations to priesthood and consecrated life in India. A Documentation Department
was created in the centre for consultation and research on Vocation Promotion. In
the second phase NVSC helped the Vocation Promoters equipping them with the knowledge
and skills needed for their ministry. Residential courses on transformation towards
wholeness and training to be a counsellor were conducted regularly in the centre
with six months and four months duration respectively.
From 1998 NVSC entered the third phase by becoming a full fledged Academic Institute
offering the year long Diploma Programme in Pastoral Counselling and Religious Formation.
This programme is designed specifically to train those engaged in the field of Formation
and Pastoral Counselling. Pastors, Seminary Rectors and Staff, Spiritual Directors,
Formators of various Congregations and Institutes, School Counsellors, those engaged
in catechetics, youth and family ministries, all profit by the said programme and
get trained in acquiring the needed skills. This year the 14th batch of trainees
will be trained in the centre. The centre publishes a bi-annual journal titled:
Asian Journal of Vocation and Formation.